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Meet the antsy children who had been additionally caught on the Home vote this week

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The Home flooring was stuffed with whiny, unruly crybabies this week.

After which there have been the kids: Lovable infants like Hodge, the 4-month-old son of Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.). Properly-behaved children, the one folks prepared to sit down anyplace close to George Santos (R-N.Y.). Exhausted children, like the dual sons of Kevin Mullin (D-Calif.), who fell sleeping as their father waited for yet one more vote. Bored youngsters who had been nonetheless nonetheless much less recalcitrant than among the adults within the room.

“Members have cherished it as a result of loads of them are dad and mom and even grandparents,” mentioned Gomez Friday. “They simply love seeing a child, and it doesn’t harm that lots of people suppose Hodge is tremendous cute.” The California Democrat turned a social media star this week whereas tweeting his journey as caregiver and lawmaker caught in the mind-numbing yet riveting quest to name a speaker for the 118th Congress.

Gomez had 14 members of the family in Washington — the primary time they had been all collectively for the reason that pandemic — and a slate of plans together with a giant household photograph for his swearing in. However first, a speaker needed to be elected.

Hodge spent Tuesday within the Home flooring and cloakroom, requiring two bottle feedings and “a number of diaper adjustments.” On Wednesday morning, Gomez took his firstborn to go to close by workplaces after which again to the Home flooring. His household toured the Air and House Museum and the White Home. On Thursday, his relations flew house — together with his spouse, Mary Hodge, a deputy mayor of Los Angeles — leaving Gomez and his son in Washington.

“We consider in the concept my spouse or any lady shouldn’t be the default mother or father, robotically the default caregiver,” he mentioned. “My job is a bit of bit extra versatile since I’m the boss of my workplace. I reply to myself and to the folks of the thirty fourth Congressional District. So it was simpler for me to maintain him.” (Properly, not that straightforward: He shares a small D.C. condo with Darren Soto (D-Fla.) that hardly suits all the newborn gear.)

Historically, members of Congress spend the primary day of a brand new time period celebrating with family members: The spotlight is often that swearing-in photograph. The senators did so this week with little fanfare. The Home was, properly, a sizzling mess of uncertainty and dashed plans.

Two well-known fathers, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), had been caught within the Home gallery for hours Tuesday, hoping to see their sons sworn in. “I really feel unhealthy for the relations, the spouses, companions and members of the family who got here to city for brand spanking new members,” Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) mentioned in a information convention Wednesday.

Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) was excited to have her first granddaughter, 9-month-old Tibby, within the nation’s capital for her swearing-in. Tibby spent a part of Tuesday on the Home flooring on her grandmother’s lap. She was out and in of the congresswoman’s workplace Wednesday, hoping for a swift decision. Alas, it was to not be.

Brownley, like most members, tried to discover a silver lining: “I’m proud that an historic variety of ladies will serve on this Congress, which can undoubtedly encourage numerous younger ladies and future leaders, like my granddaughter, Tibby.”

Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) introduced his spouse and three children, together with 8-month-old daughter Anna Valentina, from San Antonio to Washington, an opportunity for them to witness historical past. All three had been on the Home flooring Tuesday.

On Wednesday, his spouse and older children toured the White Home whereas he introduced the newborn to the ground. (At one level, Gomez tweeted a photograph of his son and Anna aspect by aspect: “At this price @JoaquinCastrotx’s daughter Anna Valentina and Hodge can be going to promenade! #CongressCuties #118thCongress”)

Perspective: The House speaker vote is the best thing on TV right now

“It provides to the chaos as a result of the Capitol isn’t actually constructed for youths,” Castro mentioned after a vote on Friday. “It’s onerous to get round with a stroller on the ground.” However seeing all the kids was nice, he added: “It lightened the whole lot up. All the children did very well. Nobody was crying for an hour straight.” He paused and clarified, “I can’t vouch for the adults.”

One other takeaway: Castro found the lads’s members toilet doesn’t have a altering station, one thing he intends to treatment. The bigger challenge is normalizing seeing fathers caring for their work and their kids. (We’ve seen extra dads this week partly as a result of only about a quarter of House members are female.)

Having kids current, Gomez mentioned, has been a reminder to his colleagues of what they’re preventing for. He’s desirous about legal guidelines that make sense for working households, making it simpler for dads and mothers to maintain their children.

Gomez mentioned he’s getting loads of consideration, however not essentially for the fitting cause. “Persons are saying, ‘Oh, that’s superior. You introduced your child to work.’ I’m a man. I get praised. But when a girl takes their child to work, they’ll go, ‘Oh, you took the child to work.’ It’s a unique connotation,” he mentioned.

“For girls to do it, it signifies that they’re not as devoted as a person, but when a person takes a child to work, it looks like they’re a greater mother or father, which I believe is one thing that we now have to push again towards.” That’s why he’s for paid household depart for moms and dads.

Yet another factor: Hodge is already means too snug on the Home flooring. “He’ll let you realize if he doesn’t like a place or if he’s getting drained. However he likes the cameras,” Gomez mentioned. Feels like a future politician to us.

Paul Kane contributed to this report.

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